In the realm of connected objects, imagination is at work, for better or for worse. There have been countless announcements of miraculous connected objects, designed to make our lives easier. IoT (Internet of Things), this acronym that has become familiar, will invade our daily lives, full of promises that sing. But sometimes we think that the creators of some of these connected objects think that the humans for whom they intend their products to be used are ungrateful individuals, a kind of strange animal that accepts without batting an eyelid to be trained with Pavlovian reflexes by technical intelligence. This is the case of two connected bracelets presented this week: one sends 340 volts to your wrist if your bank account goes into the red; the other measures your blood alcohol level in real time to get you on the right track.
Vou tend to go shopping without counting and your credit card has the chronic disease of overheating? English society Intelligent Environmentswhich specialises in the sale of software for the banking sector, has joined forces with the company PavlokThe company is a specialist in connected bracelets, so that you don't have to be exposed to your banker's reprimands. The principle is simple: the bracelet you wear on your wrist is connected to your bank and, as soon as you go over the limit, you will receive a 340 volt electric shock. Imperceptible to take your mind off things and get away smoothly.
The company's Executive Director, David Webber, told the BBC that his bracelet would allow his wearers to regain "financial well-being". Without smiling, the promoter of this technology claims that it is not intended to exert any control. This is doubtful because the platform is connected to banks that will literally be able to take their customers by the hand.
The same bracelet can be coupled with other platforms for other uses to be imagined. For example, to deliver a small discharge if the temperature in your apartment is too high, another to invite you to be on time for work. We can imagine the use that parents can make of it with their children or teachers with their pupils: do you fall asleep in class? Come on, a little jolt to wake up your neurons?
Of course, since everything connected transmits and stores data, there is cause for concern about the use that your employers, insurers, bankers, etc. might make of it.
Almost at the same time, another connected bracelet is presented to the public. This time it is the BACtrack Skyna bracelet that tells you when you've had too much to drink. This object is equipped with sensors that will detect the presence of alcohol in your sweat. You will then be able to know instantly if you can take your car. Supporters of the fight against drinking and driving will be legitimately delighted. But the bracelet is linked to an information processing system that records your alcohol consumption over time. Here again, you are kept on a leash and monitored at all times.
The two bracelets, the one that gives you electric shocks and the one that spies on your drinking, are still not connected. This is fortunate because, if you were to suffer an electric shock for every little drink you swallow, outings with friends might only be of interest to masochists.